Addresses rising demand for radiology services by enhancing role of radiology assistants performing non-diagnostic services
May 23 2019
(Pictured: U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) visits with members of the Arkansas Radiological Society during their visit to Washington, D.C. this week to discuss their support for this legislation.)
WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) is working to address the rising demand and clinical need for timely medical imaging services by introducing legislation that enhances the role of radiology assistants (RAs).
The increased complexity of radiologic studies, coupled with high demand for radiology services, has placed an added burden on our already strained Medicare program. One value-based, efficient solution to address this need and improve patient outcome is to enhance the role of RAs.
Boozman’s legislation—the Medicare Access to Radiology Care Act—would enable radiologists to submit claims to Medicare for non-diagnostic services performed by RAs they directly supervise in both the hospital and office setting. It will ensure patients—particularly those in rural areas where health care options are fewer—have timely and quality access to services.
“Hospitals in Arkansas and around the country are always searching for better ways to deliver medical services to patients in more cost-effective ways. Many health policy experts have identified the use of physician extenders as one way to help achieve that goal,” Boozman said.
While RAs are newly recognized under Medicare to perform services under direct supervision, the radiology practices that employ them are unable to submit claims to Medicare for RA performed services in hospitals, where they normally work.
“These healthcare professionals are well qualified to address the increased demand in medical imaging services and fill the gap in the shortage of radiologists, particularly in rural areas. Ensuring the procedures performed by RAs are covered by Medicare is a commonsense way to provide seniors with the specialized services they deserve,” Boozman said.
The Medicare Access to Radiology Care Actis cosponsored by Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA), Steve Daines (R-MT) and Jon Tester (D-MT).